Glenn Beck’s secret plan

Glenn Beck’s rally over the weekend confused a lot of people, especially his usual critics. Where was all the tea party rhetoric and hatred? What were all those people doing praying and praising America for three hours? What was he doing giving an award to Alberto Pujols, and what was MLK’s niece doing there? This article argues that the rally is part of a long-term plan to change the political game entirely.

Beck is creating positive themes of unity and patriotism and freedom and independence which are above mere political or policy choices, but not irrelevant to them. Political and policy choices rest on a foundation of philosophy, culture, self-image, ideals, religion. Change the foundation, and the rest will flow from that. Defeat the enemy on that plane, and any merely tactical defeat will always be reversible.

The author’s point is that the foundational themes of the left are currently dominating public discourse. Just one example: gay marriage was unthinkable 15 years ago, but the left (broadly speaking) has changed the public perception of gays through shows like “Will and Grace” and all the sudden a lot of people start thinking, “well, who cares if two gay guys want to get married?” Al Gore has tried to do this with global warming. One of the underlying themes of many progressives is that there should be no real limits to governmental control over personal property (especially ironic given that the income tax didn’t exist 100 years ago).

So, if you change the foundational discussion, politics will follow. The author’s argument is that Beck is trying to change the foundational discussion back to: traditional morality, God, Constitutional protections of personal freedom vs. communitarian views of property, respect for the military.

Seen from this perspective, the Beck rally makes sense. You could argue that Beck is not really that smart, and I would agree he has said some incredibly stupid things. So it is of course possible that Beck has stumbled onto this particular strategy out of pure dumb luck. Or it is also possible that there is no strategy at all and he is just fumbling along, doing whatever occurs to his ADD-addled mind at the time. What do you think?

(Could I request that comments deal with the “secret plan” aspect? We already know most of you hate Glenn Beck. You don’t need to prove your “I hate Glenn Beck” bona fides here. Please keep comments focused on the subject of this post, which is, “is there a secret plan or no?”)

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

46 thoughts on “Glenn Beck’s secret plan

  1. Geoff–the secret plan would have more credibility if Mr. Beck hadn’t spent the past several years of his life, 24/7 hurling the most vile and personal attacks against his political opponents. While I agree American political discourse could use a much more civil tone–that Glenn Beck is its new face is not a pill I am willing or capable of swallowing. . .

  2. I liked it, thought it was very inspiring and refreshing. I think Beck did put a lot of thought into the message he wanted to give. Faith, hope and charity are not bad topics and things I hope we all can get behind.

  3. Guy, agreed that Beck has said some incredibly stupid things. Agreed that some of his personal attacks are way overboard and uncivil. But let’s take a look at the effects Beck has had on the political discussion in the last two years or so:

    –Has succeeded in getting more scrutiny of Obama’s appointments and in getting Van Jones fired.
    –Has succeeded in getting literally millions of people to take another look at the progressive era and how it affects current-day politics (whether or not he is right is irrelevant — you cannot deny he has been effective).
    –Our entire political discourse has changed, mostly thanks to Beck. People are discussing Woodrow Wilson and TR and FDR in completely new ways. Most of my friends had no clue about what progressives were until Beck started discussing it.
    –Has succeeded in getting people to read the Constitution and try to understand what it says. Again, you may disagree with Beck’s interpretation of the Constitution, and a lot of very smart people do, but the point is you cannot deny that literally millions of people are thinking about the Constitution in new ways.

    Now, again, there might not be any strategy at all in all of this. It might just be Beck’s weird mind flitting around from subject to subject. When Beck gives interviews he sounds practically incoherent. But there does appear to be a pattern of some kind here. Is there a pattern? Is it purposeful? That is really what I am interested in exploring.

  4. Kudos to Glenn Beck for organizing and producing a marvelous rally. The backbone of America showed up and conducted themselves in a dignified manner. Was this Beck’s secret plan? Possibly, but I would have to say not a long term secret plan. Why? I agree Beck is way too ADHD. Beck flies by the seat of his pants and it works for him. He has good instincts and is naturally bright. He thinks well on his feet for the here and now.

  5. I was troubled by Glenn Beck’s claims that he would be speaking “by the Spirit” and so forth. It seemed to me he was dog-whistling a claim that he was being led by revelation to say and do the things he says and does. Regardless of his overall strategy, I don’t like seeing “the Spirit” invoked by Beck, a guy who has shown much more spirit of contention than anything else in his public persona.

  6. I think there is a lot less contention than the un-informed believe. While it is true he called Obama a socialist and a racist – he documented Obama’s socialism quite well, but “racist” was based primarily on Obama’s reaction to the Cambridge police and Holder’s dropping charges against the Black Panthers in Philadelphia. That’s not enough in my mind for the moniker to stick.

    Calling Woodrow Wilson a progressive is valid, but he shouldn’t be saying (multiple times) “he hates that man”. He could simply say Wilson put the country on the wrong track, disregarded personal liberties in his prison camps, and re-segregating the military and leave it at that.

    Beck believes Cass Sunstein is “the most dangerous man in America”. That might be true or not, but Sunstein’s using the Apollo Alliance to ram legislation through congress that even committee heads have not read probably doesn’t qualify as “hate-mongering”.

  7. If you’re going to call him “Alberto” why not go all the way and call him Jose Alberto Pujols Alcantara?

    Nobody calls him Alberto anymore–at least nobody in public.

  8. I am a conservative so I generally like that Beck is critical of the Obama administration, and I think a lot of his critiques are right on. Still his show has never really “hooked” me since he does strike one as a little over-the-top.

    But in terms of whether his taking the discussion to the “foundational level” is an accident, I don’t think it is. The few times I have heard him, he has talked about not merely the bad things Obama has done, but also the underlying philosophy and assumptions that his actions betray.

    So I think he is actually hammering the foundational issues on purpose, with the goal of trying to make people realize the ways in which the liberals have changed our foundational assumptions, and of making us consider whether we have consciously agreed with the new assumptions, or have been unconsciously swept along with the tide.

    So of course the next step would be arguing what our foundational assumptions ought to be, and making a conscious effort to restore those which have been unintentionally abandoned.

  9. I can’t take someone seriously about “restoring honor” or bringing God back to the country when he associates Sarah Palin with his movement, works for Fox News and says the vile things he loves to say. Unless he changed overnight, as far as I can tell his secret plan is to continue making sure wedge issues are the most important news of the day. It has absolutely nothing to do with God.

    “–Our entire political discourse has changed, mostly thanks to Beck. People are discussing Woodrow Wilson and TR and FDR in completely new ways. Most of my friends had no clue about what progressives were until Beck started discussing it.”
    Yeah, his version of Progressives and his version of history. I don’t watch him often, but when i have he’s usually twisting something in a way to make sure his audience(who will probably never look it up themselves) knows exactly how horrible Progressives are. “Restoring honor” indeed.

  10. jjohnsen writes, “I can’t take someone seriously about “restoring honor” or bringing God back to the country when he associates Sarah Palin with his movement, works for Fox News and says the vile things he loves to say.”

    So liking Palin and working for Fox automatically removes you from the rolls of the honorable? And if a conservative said he can’t take someone seriously because he likes Obama and works for MSNBC, would that be equally fair?

  11. Jjohnsen, you’re missing my point. Re-read #4. I was discussing effectiveness, not whether or not you agree with his point. Has he or has he not had an incredibly amount of influence on what people are discussing? My point is that Rush Limbaugh has been around for two decades now and is basically doing the same thing. Sean Hannity for a decade or so. It is Glenn Beck who is bringing something new to the dynamic.

    Love him or hate him, you cannot deny his influence and effectiveness.

  12. I’;m more interested in whether he can influence anyone new. If he’s only reaching the same people Rush and Hannity are getting too, then really does that count for much? Which is why I brought up Palin and Fox. Right now I only think he’s preaching to the choir, which to me doesn’t mean much as far as influence goes.

  13. To put it simply. The people he’s influencing to vote in my opinion, were already going to vote that way.

  14. jjohnsen write, “Right now I only think he’s preaching to the choir, which to me doesn’t mean much as far as influence goes.”

    Funny, that’s how I felt about Obama back in ’08. : )

  15. I think the statistics of where the current political direction of the country is (discussions of the Dems being massacred in November) show that people like Glenn Beck ARE reaching others besides the rank and file of the conservatives.

    While I do not agree with all Beck states, or his tactics, per se; I do agree he is very effective. He reaches the market he chooses to reach. And seeking to rebuild a foundation that was changed by Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR, DOES seem like a method to obtain and maintain a strong following.

    For many years, it’s felt to me that the political platforms and politicians have been whacking at leaves, rather than chopping at the roots of our problems. Whether Beck has found the correct root of our problem or not, or found the answer, he has steered people into rethinking many things that have been taken for granted by Americans for a century or so.

  16. Geoff B. said,

    Our entire political discourse has changed, mostly thanks to Beck.

    Unfortunately, yes it has. It has gotten more vile, more hateful and more extreme. There are now far more people who have a scapegoat to demonize and detest. He has made is much, much harder for the two political sides to talk to each other because he’s sown nothing but suspicion and fear between them. He has helped divide the political conversation into us vs. them, with absolutely no compromise possible, which succeeds only to paralyze a democracy. And he is a horrible and very dangerous influence for loose cannons and anti-government extremists.

    He is also a dividing influence between LDS members. He is separating Mormons by politics and ideology. He is making it extremely hard for any liberal investigator to believe he or she will be truly accepted in the LDS Church. And he is making it harder for existing liberal members to stay in the church after being bombarded by this supposed “righteous” Mormon’s hate directed at them every week. How often are Beck’s ideas and words brought up in church every Sunday and in the blogernacle? In my case, so often that it seems as if they are as much “true doctrine” to far too many members as any talk from President Monson. Glenn Beck’s on-air persona is an amazingly negative example to non-Mormons of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and does not in any way emulate any of God’s commandments of love, kindness, charity and forgiveness that is central to His teaching. To non-Mormons, he paints all of us as intolerant, close-minded, suspicious and intensely conservative. Or in other words, he is proving to them that the stereotypical anti-Mormon view of us is correct.

    Glenn Beck is not the worst thing to happen to the LDS church, but he is definitely near the top.

  17. James, you’re entire response is absurd. I’d go thru point by point, but each point would get the same response from me: prove it. How exactly is Beck vile, hateful, or extreme? I dare you- take a topic, see what Beck has said about it, look at his sources, and tell me he isn’t right.

    You’ve never watched or listened to him for any significant amount of time, have you? All you know about him is what you’ve read from progressive tertiary sources like Media Matters, Comedy Central, and MSNBC.

    Nearly the worst thing that’s ever happened to the LDS Church? What an idiotic comment.

  18. D Sirmize, even though I agree with the substance of your comment, I would like to ask you to tone down the personal attacks on other commenters (“idiotic comment.”). It is OK to take on public figures because they are public figures — it is not OK at least on this blog to take on other bloggers or commenters, simply because it makes for unpleasant blogging.

    James, having said that, and stood up for your being treated in a civil manner, I have to disagree with the substance of your comment. Not only did I specifically ask for people not to make comments such as yours, which is basically a “I hate Glenn Beck” comment that has nothing to do with the subject of this thread (please re-read the original post). In addition, you stand up for civility but then make the most inflammatory claims about Beck without showing any evidence you have actually listened to his TV or radio shows. If you had, your perceptions would be much more balanced.

  19. I am a socialist. I disagree with Glenn Beck on everything. However to say that “Glenn Beck is not the worst thing to happen to the LDS church, but he is definitely near the top” is to ignore that things like blacks and the priesthood, Mark Hoffman, polygamy, the ERA, Ezra Taft Benson, Bo Gritz, Paul H. Dunn, and Mountain Meadows. This list could go on and on. Now, for me, Beck is not a big deal because he is like most people (politically) I know in the Church. They just do not have a radio or TV program.

    (How did I miss this post?)

  20. Ok, now to the substance of the original post, Geoff said:

    You could argue that Beck is not really that smart, and I would agree he has said some incredibly stupid things.

    Beck talks into a microphone, mostly off-the-cuff, for three hours every day and has been doing so for many years. Add in the TV show (which is semi-scripted but never read from a teleprompter), stage shows, speeches, books, the magazine and other media interviews. How many sheer hours of opinion does that add up to? That fact that we’ve got all that and Media Matters can only come up with a few examples says volumes.

    My point is that yes, Beck has said some stupid things, but arguably no more than you or I. He just has a mic and its being recorded. Another thing to consider

    Or it is also possible that there is no strategy at all and he is just fumbling along, doing whatever occurs to his ADD-addled mind at the time. What do you think?

    Bingo.

    Guy Murray said:

    Geoff–the secret plan would have more credibility if Mr. Beck hadn’t spent the past several years of his life, 24/7 hurling the most vile and personal attacks against his political opponents.

    Which attacks are you talking about? Keeping in mind that Beck couches much of his commentary in irreverent, non-PC comedy, and has never claimed to be a journalist, how exactly has Beck poisoned the discourse? How is it not poisoned already by the likes of Olbermann, Matthews, Ed Schultz, Jon Stewart, and Rick Maddow?

    BHodges said:

    I was troubled by Glenn Beck’s claims that he would be speaking “by the Spirit” and so forth.

    Yeah, I’m not into that either. That talk may be building cred with the evangelicals, but it seems like it’s crossing some line. It disturbs me.

    Regardless of his overall strategy, I don’t like seeing “the Spirit” invoked by Beck, a guy who has shown much more spirit of contention than anything else in his public persona.

    Is it really a spirit of contention? Or is it passionate talk about issues, which you happen to disagree with?

  21. D. Sirmize say,

    I dare you- take a topic, see what Beck has said about it, look at his sources, and tell me he isn’t right.

    By your association, that means Beck is always right. Did I mention that far too many people treat Beck’s words as Gospel?

    Beck has been warning about the looming “New World Order” and the “Progressive plague” on his show for a long time. To do so he has lied about quite a few things along the way. For example:

    The famous “Obama is a racist” quote that he only just recently said was “not accurate” and then goes on to attack Obama for “Collective Salvation.” (“Atonement is both individual and collective.”)

    His rant about the Weather Underground which has been disbanded and defunct since 1973 and so is no longer relevant. There is no proof that the people he mentions are or ever have been “in and around the President.”

    And his conspiracy theory that “Czars like John Holdren, who has proposed forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population.” Again, not true. This lie takes out of context quotes from a book Holdren co-authored called Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment. The authors argue that compulsory abortions could potentially be allowed under U.S. law “if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.” The authors certainly advocate making abortions readily accessible for women who want to get them. But they never advocate forced abortions. Big difference.

    I could go on and on. But for these few examples I did look at his sources and I found that Beck is decidedly not right in any of them.

    Oh, and thanks for the personal attack with the “idiotic comment” quip. Classy.

  22. D. Sirmize, excellent comment. Definite freudian slip with the “Rick” Maddow comment, but it gave me a chuckle.

    If I were recorded for a day I am sure I would say incredibly stupid things, enough to get me in trouble with Media Matters or the conservative equivalent. So your point is well taken. But that comes with the job: if you’re going to be a commentator, you gotta deal with the fact that as you get more popular your comments are going to be analyzed more closely.

    But at the end of the day, your larger point is incontrovertible, which is that yes Beck may say uncivil things but if you actually listen to what he says in context on a regular basis, most opposition is nothing more than politically based, ie, people don’t like him because they disagree with him politically. I don’t know that his style is any worse than Rush Limbaugh, and people have been hatin’ on Rush for two decades now, and it only helps his ratings.

  23. Would any consider Beck’s power/dilemma akin to Brigham Young’s? Not that Beck is a prophet, but BY was very opinionated, said some very harsh things on occasion, and said some things that today we wished he hadn’t.

    1. For example, most scholars are in agreement that BY’s rhetoric against Johnston’s army and immigrants inflamed the problems that led to MMM.

    2. His unorthodox teachings that most LDS today would reject: polygamy required for exaltation, Adam-God, priesthood ban, God progresses in knowledge.

    Today, we have members and non-members alike that focus on these few issues, significant as they may be, but completely ignore the other facets of Brigham Young. While he was controversial in a half dozen teachings, he was very orthodox on hundreds of others. While he stirred the pot regarding invasion from outsiders, the Saints probably required a strong leader to help them survive.

    When we look at the big picture, we see the real Brigham Young, with both warts and highlights.

    Perhaps if we stepped back a little bit, we could see both good and bad about Glenn Beck, and give him such consideration, as well.

  24. Geoff B. said,

    Not only did I specifically ask for people not to make comments such as yours, which is basically a “I hate Glenn Beck” comment that has nothing to do with the subject of this thread (please re-read the original post).

    That egg was broken before I got here. :-) But you are correct, just because the door was already open is no reason for me to rush into the house. Please forgive my fervor about this particular topic. I’m pretty even keel and generally a centrist politically, except when it comes to Glenn Beck. Beck is my one real hot button that will always get me riled up because it is so personal to me. If he weren’t a Mormon I’d still consider him dangerous for his extremist anti-government screeds. But I’d just put him into the “annoying blowhard” category where Limbaugh, O’Reilly and Olbermann belong, and forget about him.

    It’s the fact that he is an extremist AND a Mormon that makes me upset. Because he represents nothing good about my religion that I belong to and love. He may have had a recent rally in DC about “returning to God.” But if you are truly returning to God, then you will become more tolerant and loving towards others. You will become more concerned about ALL people, not just the conservatives. If you are a true disciple of Christ you won’t sow dissent and paranoia. With regards to progressives, Beck shows nothing even remotely close to a true Christian attitude.

    Beck may have said in a recent show that, “I don’t want you to hate these people,” which I applaud. That’s exactly the thing a faithful Mormon should say. (Yes I watch an occasional show on YouTube.). But considering how everything else he says is directed towards lying about how progressive values are ruining their country and everything they hold dear, how else shall his viewers feel? Happy and ecstatic that their “lives are being ruined?” He lights a house on fire, and then tells everyone to not bring hot dogs and marshmallows.

    As I said, Beck is a horrible example to others for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of Beck’s influence in the country, the large majority of people who call themselves progressive or liberal will never want to investigate the LDS church. Because they see him as representative of all Mormons, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Far too many conservative Mormons are also mixing their religion with their politics, just like Beck does every week, with disastrous results for others. Because of extreme Right-wing politics and Beck’s corrosive influence over conservative Mormons, liberal members have been feeling less and less welcome in church. Mormons are quoting from W.Cleon Skousen and Glenn Beck as if it were scripture. Beck and a very large number of LDS members have created a politicization of the church. Senator Reid, for example, was invited to give his testimony at a Fireside in Nevada recently. He had to cancel because the Stake members threatened to protest and to “heckle Harry Reid from the audience.” At a Fireside! I can understand this behavior, and it is expected in a political rally. But this was a meeting meant to praise God. It should have had nothing to do with politics.

    Beck is leading otherwise good LDS people away from God. He is helping politicize the church, making it very difficult to be a liberal Mormon. And he is pushing away many potential non-members. And he is feeding the radical Left’s simpleminded, stereotyped description of us as a cult of bigoted, hypocritical freaks. This is why I don’t like Glenn Beck and why I say he is one of the worst things to happen to the LDS church.

  25. I found this quote from a commencement address called “Profile of a Prophet” by Elder Hugh B. Brown, Brigham Young University, May 31, 1968. He conveys my message much better than I can.

    “You young people are leaving your university at a time in which our nation is engaged in an increasingly abrasive and strident process of electing a president. I wonder if you would permit me as one who has managed to survive a number of these events to pass on to you a few words of counsel.

    First, I’d like you to be reassured that the leaders of both major political parties in this land are men of integrity, and unquestioned patriotism. Beware of those who feel obliged to prove their own patriotism by calling into question the loyalty of others. Be skeptical of those who attempt to demonstrate their love of country by demeaning its institutions. Know that men of both major political parties who guide the nation’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches are men of unquestioned loyalty and we should stand by and support them, and this refers not only to one party but to all.

    Strive to develop a maturity of mind and emotion and a depth of spirit which will enable you to differ with others on matters of politics without calling into question the integrity of those with whom you differ. Allow within the bounds of your definition of religious orthodoxy variation of political belief. Do not have the temerity to dogmatize on issues where the Lord has seen fit to be silent. I’ve found by long experience that our two-party system is sound. Beware of those who are so lacking in humility, that they cannot come within the framework of one of our two great parties.

    Our nation has avoided chaos, like that is gripping France today, because men have been able to temper their own desires sufficiently, seek broad agreement within one of the two major parties, rather than forming splinter groups around their one radical idea.

    Our two party system has served us well, and should not be lightly discarded. At a time when radicals of right or left inflame race against race, avoid those who teach evil doctrines of racism. When our Father declared that we, his children, were brothers and sisters, he did not limit this relationship on the basis of race. Strive to develop that true love of country, that realizes that real patriotism must include within it a regard for the people of the rest of the globe. Patriotism has never demanded of good men hatred of another country as proof of one’s love for his own. Require the tolerance and compassion of others and for them. Those with different politics or race or religion will be demanded by the heavenly parentage which we all have in common.”

    Here’s another quote from John Gardner, former secretary of health, education, and welfare under Lyndon B. Johnson (John Gardner, No Easy Victories (New York: Harper and Row, 1969), 8, 9.). This quote was read by Elder Brown in one of his speeches.

    The possibility of coherent community action is diminished today by the deep mutual suspicions and antagonisms among various groups in our national life.

    As these antagonisms become more intense, the pathology is much the same. . . . The ingredients are, first, a deep conviction on the part of the group as to its own limitless virtue or the overriding sanctity of its cause; second, grave doubts concerning the moral integrity of all others; third, a chronically aggrieved feeling that power has fallen into the hands of the unworthy (that is, the hands of others). . . .

    Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: An excessively simple diagnosis of the world’s ills and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all. . . . Blind belief in one’s cause and a low view of the morality of other Americans–these seem mild failings. But they are the soil in which ranker weeds take root . . . terrorism, and the deep, destructive cleavages that paralyze a society.

    Gardner’s description fits Beck very well, I think.

  26. But you are correct, just because the door was already open is no reason for me to rush into the house.

    Apologizes for rushing in the house, then proceeds to again rush in the house!

    Beck and a very large number of LDS members have created a politicization of the church. Senator Reid, for example, was invited to give his testimony at a Fireside in Nevada recently. He had to cancel because the Stake members threatened to protest and to “heckle Harry Reid from the audience.”

    For those of you who missed that post here a few months ago, James is referring to an unverifiable account of a Harry Reid cancellation. Note that, if it happened at all, it had nothing to do with Beck or his audience.

    Because of extreme Right-wing politics and Beck’s corrosive influence over conservative Mormons, liberal members have been feeling less and less welcome in church.

    Evidence, please?

  27. James, you still don’t provide any examples of this supposed hate speech. Just to use one example, Glenn Beck’s TV show today was hosted by Judge Napolitano and was basically a history lesson on Progressive politics in the first half of the 20th century. Several historians gave their perspectives. It was like a Bill Moyers investigation from a conservative perspective. Now you can disagree with their take on history — and many, many very smart people do — but that is not hate speech. James, I don’t know how to make this clearer to you: your perspective of Beck is twisted. You have not watched him so you don’t even know what he says. How can you make such claims when you haven’t bothered to watch? How can you claim any empathy with your fellow Saints when you automatically assume they are worshipping somebody warped, when it is in fact your perception of him that is warped (or at the very least incomplete)?

    I am not claiming Beck has not said stupid things and made some very uncivil comments. He certainly has. But what could be more harmless than a history lesson, which is what he does a very large percentage of the time? Again, you can disagree with his perspective, but you can’t claim a history lesson is uncivil hate speech, which is what you claim.

  28. Geoff B. said,

    you can’t claim a history lesson is uncivil hate speech, which is what you claim.

    No, Geoff, I didn’t claim that a history lesson is hate speech. That would be stupid.

    I claimed that constantly demonizing every single Progressive as the “enemy of America” is hate speech.

    On his June 4 radio show, Beck praised a 1936 book by Nazi sympathizer Elizabeth Dilling.

    In August 2009 Beck compared President Obama’s plan to expand the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps to “what Hitler did with the SS.”

    Three weeks after the Dilling comments, Beck declared that the U.S. was moving in the right direction until the Civil War. “The things that have happened in this country, where it really started to go wrong, was in the lead up to the Civil War. And it became politicized, and it was all about slavery. Before then, we were moving on the right track,” Beck said.

    On July 12 he said, “Now the army, if you will, of the extreme left is gathering, and they are coming to the conclusion of, ‘Cops are bad, kill the cops, they’re the oppressors.’”

    Beck also said that the U.S. civil rights movement had been “co-opted” by progressives.

    THAT is hate speech. You can’t choose an innocuous thing like a history lesson that Beck did recently and expect me to believe that it represents all of what he has said. You say I’m twisted, but I like to look at ALL of what a man says before I make an opinion.

    Besides, you are completely missing the real reason I dislike him. (Do you even read my posts?) It’s because of his terrible influence on the LDS church. I don’t like what Limbaugh says either, but I don’t get angry about him because Limbaugh is not directly affecting my ability to be a welcomed member of my own church.

    But I’ve said my say about him. Go ahead and distort what I’ve written to your own ends like you’ve already done. I’m washing my hands of this because it’s not good for me to be this upset.

  29. James, note that LBJ and his political team (including Gardner, head of the socialist HEW dept) were socialists/progressives of their day. Johnson’s “Great Society” programs, and those added onto them, are what have bankrupted this country, both fiscally and morally. _They_ were the radicals who were claiming legitimacy for socialist programs. There was something insidious about them being the ones making claims for political tolerance, due to their use of “triangulation”. Look where “triangulating” has gotten us, farther and farther to the left, more and more bankrupt.

    The safety nets and judicial fairness of civil rights is one thing. But let’s keep in mind we could have had all that without the tremendous redistribution of wealth that merely enslaved generations of welfare recipients, and bankrupted future generations of Americans. Johnson’s Great Society created a dependent welfare class and mindset of entitlement.

    I’m sorry, but I’m not taking as truth anything Johnson or his cronies said about tolerating such nation-destroying politics.

    The reason you guys hate Beck so much is that he’s spoken the truth about Great Society programs and where they got us.

    Beck knows history. And his take on history is correct. His sense of outrage is appropriate due to the liberals/progressives refusing to acknowledge the failure of the Great Society socialist welfare state.

    If you’re not outraged at the creep of socialism in America (actually starting more or less with FDR), then you don’t know or don’t understand history, or you haven’t been paying attention.

    Guy Murray: What you call vile and personal attacks, I call an appropriate sense of outrage.

  30. James, I don’t want you to be upset, but I want you to have feelings based on actual actions, not reading Media Matters and the SPLC’s take on what people say. Watch him or listen to him for a week and then come back and give us some actual examples of the horrible things he has said.

    Here is the point: you think he has had a horrible influence on the LDS Church, but based on what? What exactly has he done that has created this horrible influence? Cite some examples. And you also may want to consider the fact that the Church — and its members — are not responsible for how liberals respond to them. Liberals can choose to be tolerant of other political opinions that don’t agree with them (as can conservatives). If I were to say that Harry Reid had had a horrible influence on the LDS church because he is driving away potential conservatives, what would you say? You would think it is ludicrous, right? Well, the same thing applies to Beck.

  31. The reality is, many Americans were Nazi sympathizers, at least in the early portions of the war. Charles Lindbergh was a big sympathizer of the Nazis. Why? Because he saw how the French and Brits had basically dissected the German nation after WWI, and felt the Nazis had the right to defend and feed their own people. Only after finding out about the atrocities did Lindbergh support the Allies. But still, it did not negate the fact that many of the Nazis’ reasons for existence were not valid.

    Thomas Jefferson supported the French Revolution, and determined that the many deaths during the Great Terror were just part of the necessary steps towards democracy.

    I personally am no fan of either the Nazis nor the Jacobins, but I do see that they did have some value in their beliefs; particularly in trying to free their peoples from the tyrants that enslaved them.

    And yes, I am a historian.

    I think that Beck’s take on the Progressive Movement is an interesting one. I’m not totally in agreement with him, but it is one valid view of history. There is some very convincing arguments out there that suggest that FDR’s New Deal actually lengthened the Great Depression in the USA, rather than fixing it. We give FDR kudos for trying to save the nation, but it required a ramping up for WWII to pull us out of the Depression. History shows that when government manipulates business, it usually has unforeseen negative side affects. It usually stifles competition (except in the instance of trust busting), and the moneys it collects are most often used to maintain the status quo.

    When government has made a difference it has been in encouraging competition by limiting monopolies, or investing in future capacity (Ike’s national highways, Kennedy’s moon landings, Internet). Obama’s investment in current infrastructure, while not necessarily a bad thing, cannot create new long term jobs that will positively affect the economy. It is just maintaining the status quo of the nation.

    Hugh Nibley warned about nations in decline that focus on taking care of the minimum, but not having true progression. When Rome stopped expanding and building NEW roads, it decayed in its own decadence. Since Obama is focusing on current infrastructure and no plans for a manned mission to Mars, we have no forward momentum. Had the $800Billion stimulus been spent on R&D and new big goals, it would have been enough to create huge NEW infrastructure capabilities for energy and space exploration, etc.

    Beck’s concern (I believe) is that the Progressive Movement does not really progress anything.

    Trust Busting works. When Standard Oil was busted, it opened the door for several new oil companies to develop, with each becoming larger than the original. When AT&T was busted into Baby Bells, the result was that Sprint could lay the first fiber optic network, we could own our own phones, DSL, cell phones and other technologies grew out of it. When IBM was on the edge of being busted, it created an open source PC with Microsoft’s operating system, allowing dozens of other companies to enter the market and create a new industry. Because Microsoft was not busted up a decade ago when found guilty of being an illegal monopoly, the stock market crashed and millions of investors lost tons of money, while there still are few (if any) competitive alternatives for MS Office, Win7, etc.

    When the “too big to fail” banks were bailed out, it stagnated the money market. Competition was killed, and now it is hard for small businesses and others to get loans. We’re going through a prolonged Great Recession, because the Progressive methods of both Bush and Obama are killing the economy.

    This is not an attack on Obama. He understands history from the viewpoint that has been taught in our history books for decades. Yet, when one scratches the surface and looks for patterns of things that work/don’t work, one comes to the conclusion that it is often better for government to stay out of business completely than to be buying up car companies and skewing the competition cycle for the long run.

    So, I agree with much of what Glenn Beck says on these matters. I came to these conclusions from my own homework, not from his programs. Although I do see much of what I’ve found being now taught by economists and historians, many now doing it on Glenn Beck’s show.

    Is it a negative thing to do the research and when seeing someone doing something that has not worked in the past, to shout “STOP!”? I think that’s what Beck does when he sees today’s Progressives pretend to fix the economy, when in reality it is causing a stagnation that will take years to dig out of.

  32. I had not planned to post again, but D. Sirmize said,

    James, you should at least include a link to the Southern Poverty Law Center if you’re going to plagiarize them. Here’s where James lifted most of his last post from:

    Tell me one person who posts to a list like this who doesn’t use the Internet as a research tool. Unless you are a professional reporter or have an amazing memory, you check your facts elsewhere. At least I’ve never used partisan sites to back up my posts.

    Which brings me to:

    SPLC- slightly less credible than Media Matters. Way to go, James!

    Seriously?

    Do you even know what the SPLC is? Read their “Who we are” page before you make such remarks. The SPLC has been extremely effective in shutting down hate groups on both sides of the political spectrum for years. Yes, both sides.

    The reason that the SPLC has a vast majority of articles on the extreme Right wing is because at the moment there are far more extreme Right wing groups than their are on the Left. This wasn’t always the case, of course. But it is decidedly the case now. “Since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 54 percent. This growth in extremism has been aided by mainstream media figures and politicians who have used their platforms to legitimize false propaganda about immigrants and other minorities and spread the kind of paranoid conspiracy theories on which militia groups thrive.” And yes, that is a quote from their site.

    And Geoff, I’ve already told you the evidence. And I’ve experienced it myself many times. You say,

    And you also may want to consider the fact that the Church — and its members — are not responsible for how liberals respond to them.

    Isn’t that like saying a mugger isn’t responsible for how the muggie responds to him? Think about it.

    Oh, and by the way: You are all proving my point about the politicization of the church. Thanks.

  33. Geoff B. also said,

    Watch him or listen to him for a week and then come back and give us some actual examples of the horrible things he has said.

    If you’d actually read my posts here instead of assuming what I say is wrong, then you would have read that I do watch an occasional show on YouTube. And I have already given actual examples above.

    Read what I’ve written first. Then respond.

  34. Rame, Beck gets some things right on the history and some things wrong. But the point is that it is completely legitimate for him to take another look at history. PBS and the Discovery channel do this all the time, and very often their investigations are from a particularly skewed ideological perspective. Beck’s voice is just one of hundreds out there clamoring for attention. Liberals’ hatred of him is a sign of his success and influence — and the fact that they disagree with his position. The attempts to demonize him only help his ratings.

  35. Hey James, I thought you were to upset to continue arguing about this.

    Anyway, you write, ‘The authors argue that compulsory abortions could potentially be allowed under U.S. law “if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.” The authors certainly advocate making abortions readily accessible for women who want to get them. But they never advocate forced abortions. Big difference.’

    I see scant difference between this and a proposal to force abortions. Arguing that U.S. law could potentially allow for forced abortions “if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society” strikes me as a very dangerous argument to make. Who would decide when a crisis has become “sufficiently severe”? And how would such a law come about? Would the people vote to force abortions on themselves? Or would they be imposed by fiat from on high? I shudder to even consider it, though Holdren apparently doesn’t.

    Besides which — though this is admittedly a side issue — the bigger problem nowadays appears to be insufficient reproduction and not over-reproduction.

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